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Practical tips for everyday life

People with coordination and/or perception difficulties often find routine tasks such as driving, household chores, cooking and grooming difficult.

Take a look at our practical tips for everyday life.

Organisation and Planning

  • Use the calendar, alarm, and reminder features on your phone to stay organised.
  • Google Calendar and Google Keep are useful tools for organising your schedule and tasks.
  • Tiimo is a visual planning app that's designed specifically for people with neurodiversity. It's made by ND people for ND people.
  • Thruday is another app that can be helpful, especially for people with autism, ADHD, ADD, and other neurodivergent conditions.

If you prefer a physical aide:

  • Bullet journaling is a great way to keep track of your tasks and goals. You can find free printables online, customise them, and use them to plan your day or week.
  • Use a post-it note system to remind yourself of things you need to remember in the morning, such as your P.E. kit or musical instrument.
  • Use color-coded books for school or college to make it easier to find what you need.
  • Label your drawers to keep things organized and make it easier to put things away.
  • Lay out your clothes the night before to save time in the morning.


  • Grooming tasks like shaving, brushing teeth and hair, and applying makeup may be difficult. Look for solutions that can help, such as electric razors or hair dryers with brush attachments. Our recommended products page might be a good place to start
  • Carry a compact mirror with you so you can check your appearance after a meal.
  • You can find videos online that show easier but effective ways to manage longer hair, giving you more options than just a ponytail.


  • It’s easy to forget to brush your teeth so build this into your daily routine.
  • Use disclosing tablets to make sure you clean thoroughly.
  • Set a 2 minute timer on your phone (or use a kitchen timer) to make sure you brush for long enough.
  • Consider using an electric toothbrush as this reduces the need to move the brush quite so much.
  • Invest in a water flosser – this can make flossing your teeth much easier than fiddly traditional floss!


  • Try shaving after a bath or a shower.
  • If you cut yourself, apply a cool damp flannel to your skin to stem the blood.
  • Waxing may be a better option – if you think your pain threshold will cope! Or you could try hair removal cream.


  • Make a note on a calendar when your period is due so that you are not taken by surprise.
  • Red paper clip reminder- you may find it useful to attach a clip to your handbag a couple of days before your period is due to remind you to put some sanitary towels or tampons into your bag.
  • Pack a small wash bag with products ready so that you are not caught short at the beginning of a busy day. It also enables you to have your products discreetly packed away.
  • Dark underwear may be useful as it will not show stains and a pair of black shorts to wear at night time might be a consideration.
  • Whatever product you choose to use remember that practice makes perfect, so try things when you are period free.
  • Stick-on pads may be easier to manage than tampons (put pads with wings can be more tricky!).
  • Some girls prefer to ‘be prepared’ and carry with them some clean pants with pads already attached. They then change their whole pants, putting soiled ones into a discrete bag to take home. This is a good strategy if you get anxious about changing sanitary wear in public toilets.
  • Set a timer on your phone if you are likely to forget to change your pad.
  • Have some wet wipes handy
  • Pain relief and a hot water bottle or heat pad might be useful if you suffer pain.
  • Be aware that your mood may be changeable.
  • Keep clean - a nice hot shower can be comforting as well as hygienic

Choosing clothes

  • Keep sets of clothes together on a coat hanger.
  • Avoid fiddly buttons and fastenings. Use Velcro to assist with fastenings.
  • Look for clothes that are easy to put on.
  • Choose clothes from a similar palate of colours so that they always coordinate.
  • Look for jewellery and accessories which have large clasps or bracelets that are elastic.
  • Choose well-fitting shoes which are snug around the heel for extra stability.
  • Rubber/crepe or leather soles are less slippery.
  • Avoid high heels or practice a lot in them.
  • If you have a particular dress style that you enjoy, wear it with pride but be aware that certain clothes suit different situations (you wouldn’t wear joggers to a job interview!).
  • Lay your clothes out the night before you are due to wear them. It is easier to co-ordinate items and reduces stress when you are in a hurry in the morning.
  • Position a full length mirror near your front door so you can check your appearance before you leave the house.

Make up

  • Sit down when applying make-up and steady your elbow or forearm on a firm surface.
  • Look on YouTube for some good step by step tutorials or ask for a make-up lesson as a birthday present.
  • Have a magnifying mirror and good light.
  • Line up products in order of use.
  • Use added grips on brushes if it helps.
  • Lip crayons and lip gloss may be easier to apply than lipstick
  • You may find it easier to get eyebrows threaded or waxed in a salon.
  • Mascara can be tricky so having your lashes dyed may be an option.
  • Do what is easier for you e.g. some girls find fingers better than brushes for applying makeup.
  • When applying mascara to the under surface of upper lashes have the mirror above eye level and look up into it.
  • Have the mirror lower when working on the lower lashes.
  • Cotton buds dipped in a teeny bit of baby oil will remove smudges of even waterproof mascara.
  • Roll-on perfumes can be easier to apply.
  • Have a trusted friend to ask how it looks when you finish.
  • Take good care of your skin. This means eating well, drinking lots of water and trying to minimise the amount of chemicals you put on your skin.


  • Use an app like Magic ToDo to break down complex tasks like cooking or making beds into simple steps
  • Make lists to help you stay organised.
  • Check out our 'Recommended by dyspraxics for dyspraxics' page for some useful kitchen tools that can make cooking easier.
  • Don't overload yourself with too many tasks at once. Try giving yourself one task at a time, or make a clear list of the tasks you need to do.
  • Have designated areas for all belongings.
  • Label cupboards and drawers so it is easier to find things and easier to know where to put things away.
  • Put food items in clear plastic containers so it's easier to see what you need and when you are running out. Make sure you label well and if appropriate add the use-by date too.
  • Break cleaning tasks down into smaller, manageable tasks.
  • Have a cleaning timetable or a tick off To-Do list to help keep track of what needs doing and when.
  • Try to keep areas from becoming too cluttered and if you don’t use items think about donating to charity or making some extra cash by selling. Sites such as Vinted are easy ways to sell clothes.
  • If you are prone to tripping or falling, consider how you use your home and make sure walkways are clear.
  • Create some house rules. If you live with others this is best done together to ensure everyone is on board with the ideas.
  • Get into routines that work best for you and your home.

Remember there is no cure for dyspraxia but there are many strategies that can help.

  • A diagnosis can help you come to terms with your problems, put things into perspective and improve your self-esteem.
  • Think positively and keep your sense of humour.
  • Many people with dyspraxia are very creative, determined, persistent and intelligent.
  • Try assertiveness and self-development classes or join a self-help or support group.
  • Break down large tasks into smaller components to make them more manageable.
  • Try to carry out some kind of relaxation exercise every day such as yoga or the Alexander Technique.
  • Try going to the fitness gym to improve your muscle strength and coordination.
  • Do any sport/activity that might improve your coordination and manual dexterity such as computer games, bowling, swimming, rock climbing, walking and aqua aerobics. Find something that you really enjoy doing.
  • Use diaries, calendars, and post-it® notes to plan your day/week/month.
  • Prioritise things you have to do first.
  • Finish one task before you start another.
  • Mind maps and flow charts can also be of use.
  • Use any implement in the home to help you carry out your daily tasks such as electric toothbrushes, electric shavers, kettle-tippers, special tin openers and potato peelers, word processors with spell checks and lap-top computers.
  • If you are learning a new sequence of actions, see that you get clear, precise instructions. Use a video if this helps.

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